Tim King’s sister
Catherine K. Broad, Naperville, IL

Last night I read the online version of your article about the Oakland County Child Killer in the premier issue of Downtown Birmingham/Bloomfield. Thank you for what was obviously a lot of hard work. I am Tim’s older sister. I was a senior in high school when Tim was abducted, held captive for six days and then murdered. I am now 51. I am an attorney with two kids, one of whom is now older than I was when this happened to Tim.

I can understand why Larry Wasser’s Detroit attorney wishes to remain nameless in your article. He has defamed Patrick Coffey. I can no longer sit back and allow this to continue. I have not spoken publicly about any of this out of deference to the only detective I trusted in this mess (Livonia PD) and to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office. Other family members did not agree to stay silent and thankfully have not. I did not want to impinge on the investigation and I naively thought that somewhere along the line the state police, who have control over this investigation, would do the right thing. I regret not going to the press much sooner and with much more detail.

Patrick Coffey has been entirely selfless in this nightmare. He has integrity that seems to be completely lacking in your unnamed source. We are where we are today because of a conversation between Mr. Wasser and Mr. Coffey. Mr. Wasser can continue to deny it, but he knows the truth. Let me explain how I know Patrick Coffey did not "make this up." I spoke with Patrick less than 24 hours after this conversation between him and Mr. Wasser took place in July 2006. I hardly think Patrick used those few intervening hours to concoct a book plot and line up an agent.

In July 2006 Mr. Coffey spoke at a national polygraphers conference in Las Vegas. Patrick lives in California and had developed an expertise in using polygraph exams to help support asylum claims in immigration cases. After the presentation, Mr. Wasser asked Patrick if he would be willing to make the same presentation before the Michigan Association of Polygraphers at their next conference, as this issue arose fairly often in Dearborn, MI. Patrick agreed and mentioned he had lived in Birmingham in his youth. Mr. Wasser gave Patrick his business card with an address in nearby Southfield. Patrick told Mr. Wasser that part of the reason he became a polygrapher was because of his neighbor, Timmy King, who had been murdered by the Oakland County child killer. He asked Wasser if he knew of the case. As Patrick described in a July 27, 2006, email to his family (they all knew Tim) that I was copied on: "In doing so I saw his heart miss a beat and he went flush with an unexpected change in facial expression." Wasser went on to confide, polygrapher-to-polygrapher, that he had conducted an attorney-client privileged (private polygraph set up by the attorney) polygraph on the man who was the child killer. "He further informed me that both the perpetrator was now dead as well as the Attorney who represented him. Try to imagine the weight placed on my heart from that conversation if you can."

A few hours after this conversation with Wasser, Patrick spoke with polygrapher Steve Wolf, who was also attending the conference, about the quandary he found himself in. Later that night, Patrick called my brother Chris and told him what had transpired. Patrick called his cousin Bridget Coffey to get my phone number and explained why he needed to call me. Patrick called me the next morning and told me about the conversation with Mr. Wasser. He asked Chris and me to keep this quiet and give him some time to see if Wasser would be willing to discuss this further. Although Mr. Wasser himself breached the attorney-client privilege by speaking to Patrick about this matter, I readily agreed to wait and see if Patrick could obtain some kind of information that might get us on the right track. Mr. Wasser is a bigwig in the polygraph world and could try to ruin Patrick for contacting us. Patrick asked that we go to police and simply try to get the names of suspects who were deceased, whose attorney was also deceased, without divulging any details. Perhaps if there were just a few suspects who fell into that category, he could approach Wasser and run the names by him without causing Mr. Wasser to "name names." The idea was to see if we could independently come up with a name or names, without the need of ever discussing any of this polygraph information.

On July 24, 2006, Patrick emailed Mr. Wasser and reiterated his willingness to speak to Mr. Wasser’s group, and to let him know when their next conference was. I have a copy of that email, too. Patrick attached his CV for Wasser’s review. What a surprise, he never heard from Mr. Wasser again.

Of course it was impossible to get a list from police of deceased suspects who had been represented by an attorney who was also now deceased. That would be too easy.

When July 2007 rolled around and it had been one year since Mr. Wasser spoke with Patrick, it was obvious he was not going to say another word to Patrick. I knew if I went to the state police with this information that it would not only be ignored, it could well be handled in a way that left Patrick vulnerable to whatever Mr. Wasser could do to make his life as a polygrapher miserable. The answer became obvious when my Dad told me the MSP was no longer working with Cory Williams from the Livonia PD because there had been disagreements and the MSP froze him out. Det. Williams and two detectives from the MSP had twice met with my brother Chris and my Dad to discuss the investigation into Ted Lamborgine. Chris told me after those meetings that Det. Williams was the only one who had any hustle and knew what he was doing.

I took a chance and called Det. Williams about what Patrick had told me. It was the best phone call I ever made. One of my first questions was whether it was true he was no longer working with the state police. Before I told him about Mr. Wasser, I specifically stated that I did not want this information going to the state police for reasons that would become obvious. I told him I had not told Patrick I was going to make this call. I called on July 31, 2007, over a year from when I first spoke to Patrick, a date which we would much later learn was Chris Busch’s birth date.

I did not tell Patrick or anyone else that I was going to call Det. Williams. I basically had to throw Patrick under the bus to get the information into the hands of someone who could do something with it. Det. Williams immediately spoke with Wayne County APA Rob Moran and called me back that night. We discussed the attorney-client privilege issue, the possibility of an investigative subpoena, and the possible fall-out for Patrick. I later clarified for him information I fully expected to be used in obtaining such a subpoena. I did not call Patrick at that time, nor did I talk about this to anyone other than my husband (also an attorney).

A week or ten days later, Det. Williams called me and said I needed to call Patrick and tell him I had given this information to the Livonia PD. I did not ask why, I just immediately called Patrick and told him what I had done. I apologized and explained that I truly felt the information was in good hands in Wayne County. Patrick told me not to worry about it, that he understood, and further he would help out my family in any way, no matter what the cost or consequences.

In November 2007, Patrick flew to Detroit to give testimony on the record about what had taken place in Las Vegas. In Michigan it is a felony to give perjured testimony in a murder case. I do not believe Mr. Wasser gave any testimony under oath, which I am sure was by design. You can ask his attorney about that. It was not until this point (when Patrick was prepared to fly to Detroit, on his own dime I might add) that I told my Dad and my brothers what was going on. From late July to late November, I waited for this thing to take its course. After this time, I was assured that this lead would be exhausted one way or the other. The state police were now in the picture and working with Det. Williams.

Some time later, Det. Williams asked me if our family had known anyone with the last name of Busch. After all, as we would also later learn, the Busch family lived quite close to Seaholm High School, the high school my brothers and I attended. I said I had known a guy whose last name was B-U-S-H and then learned that the last name was spelled Busch. None of us knew anyone by that name. I asked an old friend who is an attorney and still lives in the area if the name meant anything to her. She checked Ancestry.com and came up with H. Lee Busch, who had four sons—three of whom were dead and it was Christopher who had died in 1978. She got me Busch’s death certificate . It showed he was in his mid-twenties and was living on Morningview Terrace in Bloomfield Township at the time he committed suicide. Later, when we found out Busch was a convicted pedophile, we also learned that he had been represented in multiple criminal sexual conduct cases by attorney Jane Burgess, who had since passed away. We found newspaper articles stating Busch had also been a suspect in the OCCK case, polygraphed in February 1977, and cleared.

Patrick said back in July 2006 that Mr. Wasser said this guy he was talking about was dead and that his attorney was dead. Chris Busch, who had been a suspect in the OCCK case prior to his suicide in 1978, who had been polygraphed by state police in Flint in connection with the OCCK case, who had numerous CSC cases pending and was represented by Jane Burgess, who is also deceased—is this starting to make sense now? I am so sick of hearing from law enforcement that everything in this case is simply a coincidence or conjecture. Do we have to suspend common sense and ignore the obvious?

A few corrections do need to be noted. First of all, Wasser never identified the man by name to Patrick. Mr. Wasser and his unnamed attorney know how the police eventually got a name and how Mr. Wasser is tied to that name. Whatever was said during the course of preparing for or conducting a polygraph arranged for by the client’s attorney is protected by privilege, but a very good argument can be made under egregious circumstances like these that the client’s name—just the name, nothing more, is not.

Wasser’s statements were a classic example of an "excited utterance," a term used for hearsay statements that are considered reliable enough to be used as evidence at a trial. While there is no trial, the basis of this hearsay exception is instructive. An occurrence or event is sufficiently startling to produce a relevant, spontaneous, and unreflecting response. In other words, the person makes the statement without the time necessary for conscious fabrication. There is no way Mr. Wasser expected to ask a California polygrapher to speak in Michigan and have him say that he grew up in Michigan and lived across the street from Tim King. His immediate response to Patrick and his visceral reaction speak volumes. And, the fact remains that Mr. Busch is a dead OCCK suspect who had numerous CSC cases against him and was represented in those cases by an attorney who is also deceased. You do the math.

Mr. Wasser and his attorney can hide behind the attorney-client privilege, the investigative subpoena statute and their fervent hope that after all these years no DNA will connect Busch to these crimes. With all of that going for them, it is interesting that they still choose to defame Mr. Coffey. But before Wasser’s attorney calls Mrs. Cooper to get her to send me a nasty letter about an investigative subpoena she has no jurisdiction over, keep in mind that I did not obtain this information as a result of the subpoena. I WAS THE INITIAL SOURCE of the information that was the basis for the investigative subpoena. I told Det. Williams what Patrick had told me and I did so without warning or asking Patrick. I waited a year before going to police out of deference to Patrick and because of my misguided thought that maybe Mr. Wasser would provide some indication that might point us in the right direction. If it were your brother who was murdered, what would you do? Ignore the information? I didn’t ask for this information, just like I didn’t ask for the state police to "rejuvenate" their task force in 2005. But once this got dropped at my feet, it seemed like something that should absolutely be taken seriously. Thankfully, Det. Williams agreed.

For someone who has lived through and with a nightmare, I have a remarkably happy and full life. I try to never take this for granted. I needed this like I need a hole in the head. But I will be damned if I am going to sit back and let the state police and Oakland County blow off this lead and let unnamed sources or anyone defame Patrick Coffey.

I have kept copies of emails and letters, not because I am writing a book, but because I am an attorney and I know there is always someone like your unnamed source who says that whatever it is, it didn’t happen. I also knew I needed to keep documentation in case the state police decided not to follow up on this lead. I had already spoken with a private investigator. I got this information about Mr. Wasser in July 2006. Here we are, over four years later. Not once did I speak to the press about it. I don’t want a book written—I want the damn leads to be taken seriously and exhausted, and for the case to be solved if possible. Which is why I sat silent for over four years.

Whatever was said or not said in preparation for the polygraph Mr. Wasser was referring to with Patrick, and whatever he and attorney Jane Burgess did or did not do in response to that information is between them and the universe. I sense an immense amount of relief on the part of many that after three decades it will no doubt be difficult, if not impossible, to prove Chris Busch was involved in these murders. So should we all just forget about it and walk away? How anyone can make any version of that argument with a straight face is beyond me. Why did the MSP fire up the task force in 2005 if they didn’t want to vigorously pursue leads?

There is no joy in any of this, I can assure you. And, Mr. Wasser, his attorney, the higher-ups at the MSP and Mrs. Cooper all know it didn’t have to come to this, despite their posturing in the press. Why is everyone so afraid of the possibility that the truth—or some part of it—will come out? Things were more of an open book when the suspect was some objectively certifiable scumbag from the greater Detroit area who could not afford a private attorney. Why are the families being treated like suspects instead of crime victims? What is wrong with this picture?

How dare your source accuse Pat Coffey of "basically making this up"?! Perhaps quotes like that of your unnamed source will reassure private polygraphers and criminal defense attorneys in Michigan, but given the actual facts, it should reassure no one. Patrick did not get our "family all stirred up for nothing" and your source knows that better than anyone (except Mr. Wasser).

This whole thing stinks from start to finish. That’s what gets our family "all stirred up."

Thank you again for pursuing and presenting information to the public about the OCCK case. I hope you will understand why I am copying this letter to other members of the media.



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